A number of British newspapers have now reported that Gordon Brown’s government was instrumental in helping release the convicted Lockerbie bomber in exchange for possible commercial contracts. Faced with a mounting public outcry, Brown has told the British public he will ask the Libyans to compensate the families of victims killed with Semtex Libya provided to the IRA. The Independent says: “Gordon Brown last night promised he would back the battle for compensation from Libya for the relatives of IRA bomb victims, after leaked letters showed he had initially refused to take up the issue because of fears it might harm relations with Col Muammar Gaddafi.” But Gaddafi’s son vowed not to easily accede to Brown’s request. According to the BBC,
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said any claims for compensation based on Libya’s supply of explosives to the IRA would be a matter for “the courts”. He said: “They have their lawyers, we have our lawyers.”
The Mail Online said that Brown had made the conciliatory gesture to the public even though there was scant prospect that the Libyans would agree.
He announced that British diplomats would now assist the families of IRA bomb victims in lobbying the Libyan government for compensation…. But he refused to become personally involved or take up the issue directly with the Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. … And he admitted that there was little prospect of success, conceding that ministers previously gave up trying to win compensation because of Libya’s intransigence.
It’s sad to see the Prime Minister of Great Britain so reduced. But it didn’t happen suddenly. The collapse happened in small, happy steps. How did Churchill put it? “I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, recklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf. It is a fine broad staircase at the beginning, but, after a bit, the carpet ends. A little further on there are only flagstones, and, a little further on still, these break beneath your feet.” And still the self deception continues, until eventually the drama onstage is parody ornamented with fine styrofoam Greek columns.